May 16 2018

“Answered Prayers” in Ellery Queen

I grew up reading Ellery Queen, so there’s always a special thrill when I end up in its pages — and on its cover! My story “Answered Prayers” is in the current issue. The title is from a quote by Teresa Avila, a 16th-century Carmelite nun who said, “There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.” Here’s how the story begins:

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” Mark said, leaning toward me across the table. In the warm candlelight of the restaurant, he looked like a movie star.
     “A surprise?” I asked nervously. Lately, his passion for me had been cooling, and we’d seen less of each other. I’d been devastated at the thought he was losing interest, and I hadn’t been sleeping well.
     “Do you want to guess?”
     “Did you get a new job? At a new magazine?”
     He shook his head. “It’s not about work. Not this time.”
     “Is… is your wife going away for a conference?” My voice was tentative. “So we’ll be able to spend more time together?”
     He smiled at me. “We will be spending a lot more time together, Carrie, but not because of any conference. I’m leaving my wife.”
     I watched Mark, waiting for him to burst my bubble. He’d said these words before, but they’d always been neutered when he added “next year” or “in a few months.” We’d been dating for three years, during which my heart had seesawed up and down as my hopes rose and ebbed. I’d finally admitted to myself that he’d never leave his wife, that I was just like all the foolish lovers who believed a cheater’s promise. Only it suddenly seemed that I had him all wrong.

If you want to read more, the May/June 2018 issue of Ellery Queen is on newsstands now. You can also buy the issue online… but why not get a subscription?

 


May 9 2018

Two Award Nominations!

I have not one but two thrilling pieces of news: my story “Jerusalem Syndrome” is up for an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada… and my story “My Side of the Matter” is up for an Anthony Award! I couldn’t be happier or more grateful.

Short stories are my first love, and I’m honored that these two are getting so much attention, especially because they were written for anthologies dedicated to raising money for charity: “Jerusalem Syndrome” appears in Passport to Murder: Bouchercon Anthology 2017, with proceeds going to Frontier College, and “My Side of the Matter” appears in Killing Malmon, which raises funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. My thanks to everyone who has supported these causes! Also, congrats to Dan and Kate Malmon, who are also finalists for an Anthony Award for the Killing Malmon collection.


Mar 14 2018

More About The Night of the Flood

We had a launch party for THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD last Thursday at New York’s landmark Mysterious Bookshop. It was the day after a nor’easter hit, so three of the authors who’d planned to be there couldn’t make it in. But Ed Aymar, Angel Luis Colón, Jenny Milchman, and I were there, and we had a great Q&A and signed a big stack of books. If you’d like to buy one, please get in touch with the Mysterious Bookshop!

There are several new reviews and articles I want to share, starting with Ed Aymar’s terrific column in the Washington Independent Review of Books. Ed asked Shannon Kirk, J.J. Hensley, Gwen Florio, and me to talk about the societal issues that influenced out stories. Want to know what inspired me to write about domestic violence in “The Darkest Hour”?

More news and reviews:

“The gritty, intense compilation may be a source of discovery for some readers… The Night of the Flood is an unconventional, action-packed novel.” — Lesa’s Book Critiques

The Night of the Flood is a fun experiment with some fantastic storytelling.” — Unlawful Acts

Learn about our fictional town of Everton, PA — and win a copy of the book — over at Fresh Fiction.

Finally, Angel Luis Colón, Nick Kolakowski, and I are doing a reading at Kew & Willow Books this Friday night at 7pm. Hope to see you there!


Mar 5 2018

Happy Release Day to The Night of the Flood

Please join me in welcoming THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD to the world! This collaborative, noir-infused novel was truly an honor to be a part of. Thank you to E.A. (Ed) Aymar and Sarah M. Chen for being editors extraordinaire, Hank Phillippi Ryan for her beautiful introduction to the book, and to my coauthors Rob Brunet, Angel Luis Colón, Mark Edwards, Gwen Florio, Elizabeth Heiter, J.J. Hensley, Jennifer Hillier, Shannon Kirk, Jenny Milchman, Alan Orloff, and Wendy Tyson. A better group of co-conspirators would be impossible to find!

Check out the terrific reviews the book has been getting:

“An impressive collection of stories from some of the most talented writers working in the crime genre today.” — BOLO Books

“Aymar and Chen deserve kudos for putting together a distinctive anthology.” — Publishers Weekly

The Night of the Flood shines, showcasing talented writers making the most of an inventive starting point.” — Foreword Reviews (selected as Book of the Day)

“Some stories moved me while others made me think. I recommend it to readers who have an appetite for a book that’s very different.” — Shomeret: The Masked Reviewer

“Weaves troubling times in and out with each segment that will leave you eager for more with the next chapter.” — Dru’s Book Musings

You know you want this book! Hope to see you at Thursday’s launch party at New York City’s Mysterious Bookshop.


Mar 4 2018

Hanging Out With Writer Types

You know who’s a terrific interviewer? Eric Beetner. Ditto for S.W. Lauden. Their Writer Types podcast is a lot of fun, and I was lucky enough to be interviewed on it. I talk about THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD (of course) but somehow we also get around to raising a zombie army led by Eleanor of Aquitaine. Take a listen. 


Feb 27 2018

Coming Soon: The Night of the Flood

Next Tuesday, March 5th, is launch day for a project that’s something entirely new for me. THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD: A NOVEL IN STORIES is my first collaborative novel. The fourteen writers who took part — E.A. Aymar, Rob Brunet, Sarah M. Chen, Angel Luis Colón, Mark Edwards, Gwen Florio, Elizabeth Heiter, J.J. Hensley, Jennifer Hillier, Shannon Kirk, Jenny Milchman, Alan Orloff, Wendy Tyson, and me — wrote about a town coming apart at the seams. Here’s how our publisher, Down & Out Books, describes it:

It happened the night Maggie Wilbourne was to be put to death, the first woman executed by the state of Pennsylvania in modern times. That was when a group of women passionately protesting Maggie’s imprisonment struck. They blew up a local dam, flooding the town of Everton and indirectly inspiring a hellish night of crime and chaos.

Fourteen of today’s most exciting contemporary crime writers will take you to the fictional town of Everton, with stories from criminals, cops, and civilians that explore the thin line between the rich and the poor, the insider and the outsider, the innocent and the guilty. Whether it’s a store owner grimly protecting his property from looters, an opportunistic servant who sees her time to strike, or two misguided youths taking their anger out against any available victim, The Night of the Flood is an intricate and intimate examination of the moment when chaos is released—in both society and the human spirit.

The early reviews have been exciting. Lee Child called the book “A brave concept brilliantly executed.” BOLO Books said it was “An impressive collection of stories from some of the most talented writers working in the crime genre today.” (BOLO Books made my day by saying this about my story, “The Darkest Hour”: “This mini domestic thriller about a mother who will do anything to keep her children safe is a fast-paced and action-oriented story. I am loath to choose a favorite in this collection, but there is not denying that Davidson’s story is a real highlight.”) For more details, or to order the book, click here.

There will be a couple of events to celebrate the release of THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD in New York. On Thursday, March 8th, we’re having a party at The Mysterious Bookshop (58 Warren Street in Manhattan) starting at 6:30pm, and you’re invited. There will also be a reading at Kew & Willow Books (8163 Lefferts Blvd in Queens) on Friday, March 16th; again, all are welcome. If you can make it, I’d love to see you!


Jan 22 2018

Podcast Alert: The Defectives

Two talented friends — author Jay Stringer and editor/writing teacher/rabble-rouser Chantelle Aimée Osman — have started a terrific new podcast they’re calling The Defectives. I’m the featured guest on the latest episode, and you can here me jaw about exotic animals I’ve eaten, shameless eavesdropping, and modern anxieties. But the real reason to listen is Todd Robinson’s son, Sam, who also makes an appearance in the podcast. Download it now!


Jan 2 2018

New Year, New Book Deal!

A new year means a fresh start… and a new book deal! I’m absolutely delighted to share this news. As Publishers Marketplace put it:

Anthony Award winner Hilary Davidson’s ONE SMALL SACRIFICE, in which an NYPD detective searches for a missing doctor whose fiance is suspected of killing another woman a year earlier, to Megha Parekh at Thomas & Mercer, in a two-book deal, by Mitch Hoffman at Aaron Priest Literary Agency (World).

I’ll have plenty more to say about this in the coming months (ONE SMALL SACRIFICE is slated for release in early 2019), but for now, I hope you’ll celebrate with me!


Nov 1 2017

Get Your Passport to Murder

If you attended Bouchercon Toronto, you’ve already heard about PASSPORT TO MURDER: BOUCHERCON ANTHOLOGY 2017. It’s out now from Down & Out Books, and I can honestly say it’s one of the best collections I’ve had the good fortune to be part of. We had a terrific event to celebrate its launch at Bouchercon, with many of the authors in attendance, as well as the collection’s editor, John McFetridge. (The photo above was taken there; you’ll spot Janet Hutchings, Gary Phillips, Chris Grabenstein, Craig Faustus Buck, Tanis Mallow, Rosemary McCracken and other familiar faces.)

My story, “Jerusalem Syndrome,” was inspired by a press trip I took to Israel in 2012, when the issue of whether women should be allowed to pray at the Western Wall was a hotly—and violently—contested issue. (Visit Women of the Wall if you’re interested in learning more about this. Spoiler alert: it’s still a huge issue.) Here’s how “Jerusalem Syndrome” opens:

Suzanne Horne fell in love with Tel Aviv at first sight. She’d dreamed of visiting Israel for years, long before she and her husband joined Pastor Ted’s church. The long series of flights—from Houston to Chicago to New York to Tel Aviv—hadn’t sapped her energy, or her enthusiasm. From the air, the city glittered like a jewel at the edge of the Mediterranean. Up close, on the bus drive in from the airport, she was just as impressed. Every way she looked, there were palm trees and names that resonated with Biblical weight along with modern skyscrapers and a palpable sense of energy.

“Look to your left,” Pastor Ted said as they were getting off the bus beside the hotel. “That’s the ancient port city of Jaffa. Four thousand and five hundred years old and still going strong.”

“Jaffa! Where Jonah was swallowed by the whale!” called out Minday Serle. She poked her teenage daughter, Mercy, in the shoulder. “Remember that?”

Of course you remember that, Suzanne thought. You’ve gone on Pastor Ted’s Tour of the Holy Land every year! Then she caught Mercy’s eye and felt guilty. The girl gave an uncertain nod and her eyes slid to the ground. Minday might be a piece of work, but her daughter was never anything but gentle and shy.

“Exactly, Minday. All right, everyone. Tonight we have dinner and prayer circle,” Pastor Ted said.

“Do we have time to take a short walk on the beach?” Suzanne asked. She could already imagine soft sand under her feet while the Mediterranean lapped at her toes.

Pastor Ted’s smile remained plastered on his face, but his eyes narrowed. “No, you don’t. You just have time to take your luggage up to your room now.”

Suzanne wasn’t ready to give in. After four years of waiting for a spot to open up on Pastor Ted’s annual Tour of the Holy Land, she and her husband, Bobby, had snagged spaces thanks to their work on—and donations to—the presidential campaign. It wasn’t that Pastor Ted was a big fan of the candidate—behind the scenes, he referred to the man as a Mormon moron—but certain services were expected if you wanted to rise in that circle. While Bobby thrived in that environment, Suzanne struggled to fit in.

“What time, exactly, is Prayer Circle?” Suzanne asked.

Pastor Ted shot her a look that telegraphed what a patently foolish woman she was. “If you wanted to walk on the beach, Suzanne, you should have gone to California for Christmas.” The tone of his voice was soft but there was steel under it.

“With all the sinners bound for hell,” Minday added.

“It looks so beautiful…” Suzanne mumbled.

“Of course it’s beautiful,” Pastor Ted said. “God created it as the Holy Land. It is a blessed patch of earth.”

“Why did you have to ask that?” Bobby was beside Suzanne, head down, pulling their wheeled suitcase behind him. “You know how he is. You won’t get to set foot in the sand. Maybe none of us will.”

“Sorry,” Suzanne murmured. “I was just so excited.”

“Just don’t open your mouth, okay? Because whenever you do, you put your foot in it.”

Suzanne’s shoulders slumped. She was always putting her foot wrong around the church crowd, especially Pastor Ted.

Publishers Weekly gave PASSPORT TO MURDER a starred review, and it singled out “Jerusalem Syndrome” for praise. I hope you’ll pick up the collection. In case you need any added incentive, all proceeds go to the literacy organization Frontier College.


Oct 19 2017

Killing Malmon Is Out!

You’ve already seen photos from the top-secret Noir at the Bar: Killing Malmon Edition back in September. I’m thrilled to say that KILLING MALMON: 24 AUTHORS, ONE VICTIM is now available from Down & Out Books! If you know me, you know I have no trouble murdering real-life people I dislike in my fiction (next time you see me, ask me about EVIL IN ALL ITS DISGUISES). But people I’m fond of? That’s not easy, but that fact that this anthology is a fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society made me kill Dal Malmon, as ordered. (Also the fact that no Malmons were harmed in the making of the collection.) My story is called “My Side of the Matter,” and if that title sounds familiar, it’s because it’s an homage to a Truman Capote story of the same name. I hope you’ll enjoy it!